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Humanities Concentration

Three students smile

Launching with the Class of 2028, the Humanities Concentration engrosses students in the study of language, history, religion, literature and philosophy. Students explore elements of life that impact human beings and their cultures with analytic critical methods of inquiry. Students are taught to understand the past, question the present and imagine the future while developing the power of their voice, both spoken and written. Well equipped in making evidence-based inferences, students learn to tailor their written and spoken word to each audience to achieve a specific purpose. Students develop a deep appreciation for human values and the unique ability of the human spirit to express itself.

Who is a Humanities Tiger?

A Humanities Tiger has a heart of compassion and a longing to understand, engage and serve others. A Humanities Tiger may often be approached as a role model, frequently asked questions by classmates. Always interpreting and analyzing human interactions, a Humanities Tiger has powerful self awareness and reflects on themselves and the world around them. Friends of a Humanities Tiger may frequently ask them for advice or seek them out for support. A Humanities Tiger works to understand why people are the way that they are and investigates how they can help others to become their best selves.

Students smiling

Humanities Students Develop:

  • Creative, critical and compassionate thinking skills
  • The ability to lead a people-centered academic and professional career
  • The ability to understand narratives across cultures
  • Tools to utilize the power of persuasion
  • Proficiency in researching and synthesizing information
  • Fluency in a foreign language
  • Historical consciousness
  • The ability to analyze, evaluate and construct complex arguments
  • Clear and persuasive writing and verbal expression
  • Storytelling skills
  • The ability to emphasize and communicate effectively with diverse populations, identities and backgrounds.
  • The ability to form ethical judgments and decision making
  • The ability to collaborate with others and work well in teams

NDB students achieved 100% pass rate on the following Humanities AP Exams, exceeding CA and global scores!


Creating Community

Classrooms embody the compassionate spirit of NDB, where faculty and students build trust with one another and feel safe to share, make mistakes and grow. This empowers students to have honest discussions where they are empowered to share their personal interpretations of events and learn from one another.

You can’t learn history without empathy. If you are to truly understand why people did the things that they did and evaluate their recollections, then you have to be able to put yourself in their shoes. Empathy is a key historical skill.

Jonathan Tomczak

Jonathan Tomczak
Social Science Department Chair 

A student signs American Sign Language

ASL Students Translate Forensics Mock Trial

American Sign Language (ASL) students put world languages into action as they translate courtroom correspondence for the Forensics Mock Trial, where students play out the roles of courtroom judges, lawyers, clerks and more. 

Student newspaper team
Catalyst student newspaper
Student newspaper students
A teacher and a student smile at the school newspaper
Students read the newspaper
journalism class
Students work together on a laptop

The Catalyst Student Newspaper

The Catalyst is NDB's award-winning student newspaper, providing students with hands-on experience in journalism reporting, writing and editing. Crafted for students by students, The Catalyst is published digitally and in print several times throughout the year. Each issue includes news stories, photos and graphic designs by students in the journalism program. Through both the journalism class and club, students have a place to learn and practice expressing their journalistic voice for the NDB community.
Students working in Tiger TV studio
Two students in front of green screen
Student films another student in front of a green screen
Two students in front of green screen
Student looks at computer with teacher
Students in front of green screen

Tiger TV

Tiger TV is NDB’s broadcast journalism news show.  Started in the early 2010's by teacher Frank Ryerson, it features live newscasts, recorded news packages and “people on the street” interviews by student journalists. The show itself is broadcasted from its basement studio at the end of every other week.  Through both the journalism class and club, students learn to apply both their English and visual arts skills in multimedia storytelling for the NDB community and beyond.

Career Examples:

  • Teacher
  • Journalist
  • Editor
  • Writer
  • Graphic Designer
  • Anthropologist
  • Archaeologist
  • Social Worker
  • Historian
  • Therapist 

Notre Dame builds strong female leaders, and I am no exception. I entered NDB as a young, naive freshman knowing that I wanted to take advantage of all the opportunities high school had to offer and I left NDB as a confident, well-spoken 18-year-old who was ready to take on the world. I attribute my ambition and my motivation to my Notre Dame education. I developed my voice in high school and my teachers instilled in me the importance of having an opinion, but backing it up academically with evidence and sharing it with conviction

Sarah Boragno

Sarah Boragno '02
English Teacher at NDB

NDB is a community that showed me that I mattered and I could do anything. This instilled a lasting confidence in me. I see my career in Employee Experience as an extension of skills I sharpened as a member of Notre Dame's ASB - building meaningful relationships and celebrating people for who they are and what they value. I was nurtured at NDB and it's my goal to make my colleagues and friends feel the same way.

Miranda Sulley

Miranda Sulley '07
Head of Employee Happiness at Just Answer

NDB’s academic environment helped my self-confidence. I felt like I was allowed and encouraged to be myself and grow into myself.  I had an eclectic group of friends who have all gone on to contribute to the world in a variety of ways. The structure of Notre Dame academics and sports programs prepared me to be self-directed and to rise to challenges. My general take-away from Catholic-based education is to live a life of service and compassion. 

Felicity Hartnett '02

Felicity Hartnett '02
Police Officer, Field Training Officer and Fire Fighter

Notre Dame didn't just give me an education, it gave me a confidence in myself that I didn't recognize I had developed until years later. NDB gave  me the foundation I needed to explore without fear and the work ethic to carry it through. I am grateful to everyone there who was a part of shaping me into the woman I am today.

Marissa Martinez '07

Marissa Martinez '07
Owner of Mason James

An NDB education shaped the foundation of who I am as a woman and business owner. NDB was where I learned how positive self-talk can transform a girl into a woman. My time at Notre Dame gave me the confidence and ability to handle life’s greatest challenges, to not be afraid to ask for help, persevere through adversity, and most importantly, be exactly who I am. Women supporting women is so incredibly powerful and I believe receiving an education in such a positive and encouraging environment is what helped to develop my courage, grit and determination. Go Tigers!

Lindsey Mifsud

Lindsey Mifsud '15
Owner LL's Kitchen

Notre Dame gave me a lot of skills in leadership, teamwork, project organization, public speaking and knowing how to ask the right questions that helped me through college and in my post-grad life. With caring and excited teachers, as well as a supportive and lively environment and a lot of incentive to work hard, Notre Dame was a great place to prepare me for my future.

Emily Clarke

Emily Clarke '18
English Language Assistant at Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports in Extremadura, Spain